Please provide a summative explanation of Chapters 12 and 13 in FrankensteinA brief, summative explanation of chapters 12 and 13 as they tie to the novel as a whole

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

His physical appearance notwithstanding, the creature reveals himself in Chapters 12 and 13 to be much akin to the noble innocent of The Romantic Rousseau's writings.  When he discovers the Delacey family, his response to is benevolent and sympathetic; their "gentle manners and beauty...greatly endeared them" to him, and when they suffer, the creature agonizes for them. Likewise, he is sympathetic to nature and derives joy from its beauty:

"The pleasant showers and genial warmth of spring greatly altered the aspect of the earth....The birds sang in more cheerful notes, and the leaves began to bud forth on the trees.  Happy, happy earth!  fit habitation for gods, which, so short a time before, was bleak, damp, and unwholesome.  My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright ray of hope and anticipations of joy."

From his observation of the misery and melancholy of the cottagers, the creature endeavors to help them by gathering wood and replenishing their supply for fire.  He endeavors to learn their language so that he might speak to them if given the opportunity. Thus, as the renowned literary critic Harold Bloom has written,

The greatest paradox and most astonishing achievement of Mary Shelley's novel is that the monster is more human than his creator."

With these two chapters, Shelley develops a sensitive creature who is noble in nature and who desires only to be truly human, revealing in nature and enjoying the meaningful company of other human beings.  Because these chapters are written in the frame-within-a-frame pattern earlier exhibited in the letters of Walton, the reader is able to perceive that the creature is really the better being than his creator, as Mr. Bloom observes.  For, both Walton and Victor Frankenstein are headed on collison courses with destriction because their paths are in defiance of nature as Victor dabbles too far in science, extending human knowledge further than it was meant to go and Walton seeks to enter realms not meant for man.

meganmjh | Student

Chapter 12: The daemon is feeling particularly insignificant, as once again he had scared off humans, a thing he did not want to do, more than anything else. He talks about himself with imense hatred. De Lacey, Agatha and Felix make it clear that they no longer want to live in the house due to them being confronted by the daemon/monster, and they are planning on giving it away (the daemon apprehends this from his hovel).
The monster then decides to try and find his creator, as he remembers Geneva as being the place the creator was from (he saw it written on paper).
Eventually he comes into contact with a girl, in which he saves from drowning but he is not seen upon as 'heroic' for this, a guy comes along and shoots him, thinking he was a victim. This causes the monster to grow even more angry than he already was.
Finally he comes across Frankenstein's young relative, and upon finding out his relation with Frankenstein he kills him. Taking the portrait of a lady (which is the young boys mother) from the child, he places it in another lady's (being Justine's) pocket, thereby making her seem the cause of the crime.

Chapter 13:
The daemon stops talking and reflects back upon reality; he is once again back at the snow with Frankenstein, where he first began to tell the happenings of his life so far. Frankenstein eventually promises the monster to make a being like himself, only it will be a woman instead. He makes this promise because the monster says he will then inflict no harm upon any of his loved ones. The two depart, although the daemon makes it clear that he will be watching carefully what Frankenstein does (to make sure he gets the job done).

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